It is important that your child attends school regularly and arrives on time at the start of the school day. Good attendance and punctuality at school will help your child achieve in the classroom and help them learn the importance of not being late. The school has a duty to keep absences to a minimum and this is regularly monitored by the Department for Education DfE). Therefore, the school will inform parents when a pupils attendance falls below the school target.
The school target for attendance is 96%
Attendance and punctuality is taken very seriously at St Richard’s and is monitored closely by the school’s Senior Leadership Team and the LAC. Trends in lateness and absence will be quickly identified and appropriate action taken. When a pupil's attendance falls below 90%, they are classified as a persistent absentee, as defined by the DfE. At this point, the School Attendance Support Service (SASS) may become involved if there are ongoing concerns about your child’s attendance and punctuality at school.
Parents and carers should be aware that any absence, whether authorised or unauthorised, will have an impact on a pupil's overall attendance percentage and academic outcomes. Your child's attendance percentage can be viewed on the Arbor App.
Punctuality and Lateness
The school gates and classroom doors are opened at 8.30am to give children a gentle start to their school day. Early morning activities are set by the class teachers between 8.30am and 8.45am.
Registration is at 8.45am. Arrival after this time will be marked on the register as 'L' for 'late'. If your child arrives at school after 8.45am then you must sign your child in at the school office giving a reason for their lateness. Children will have to ‘payback’ the time missed when they are late, as detailed in the school’s Attendance Policy, which can be found on the Policies page.
Being late can be distressing for your child as it is embarrassing and doesn’t allow them the opportunity to settle into the school day alongside their peers. It is also disruptive, as the class teacher usually gives the class important information about the day ahead, which is interrupted or has to be repeated for latecomers. Furthermore, learning activities commence at 8.45am in most classes, so lateness often results in missed learning time and further disruption to the whole class.
Registers close at 9.15am. If a child arrives after this time, their lateness is recorded as a 'U' mark on the register, meaning the child arrived at school after the registers closed. This is deemed as an unauthorised absence.
At St Richard’s good punctuality and attendance is rewarded each week. The class in each Key Stage with the highest weekly attendance over the school target is given the attendance cup and pupils with 98%+ attendance are given an award at the end of each school term.
If your child is unwell and unable to attend school, you must call the school office by 9.30am giving your child’s full name, class and the reason for absence. It is your responsibility to contact the school. A voicemail service is available.
If you fail to notify the school to provide the reason for absence, the School Attendance Support Service and Social Care may be informed.
Coughs, colds, sore throats etc. are common in schools and unfortunately tend to spread quickly, especially in the winter months. It is important that we teach children to be resilient when coping with minor illnesses such as these and they should try and attend school. If we feel your child is not well enough to be at school, we will contact you to come and collect them. Medical evidence may be requested by the school if your child is unwell due to illness and their attendance is below 96%. Without this evidence, absence will be recorded as unauthorised.
Acceptable reasons for absence are:
- Sickness (where medical evidence has been provided)
- Unavoidable medical or dental appointments which cannot be made outside of school hours
- Religious observances
- Exceptional circumstances (at the Headteacher's discretion)
Unacceptable reasons for absence are:
- Continued illness where no medical evidence has been supplied
- Holidays during term time
- Non-urgent medical or dental appointments
- Days out
- Family members or friends visiting the UK from abroad
Holidays during term time
Holidays during term time are not permitted and will be recorded as an unauthorised absence. The Local Authority will be informed and a fine may be issued.
Any absence during term time that is not due to illness requires a “Request for Absence” form to be completed.
The completed form needs to be emailed to the school office, marked for the attention of the Headteacher, for the request to be considered. Alternatively, a completed paper copy can be given to the school office.
The primary legal responsibility rests with the parent/carer to ensure regular school attendance; however, improving attendance is everyone’s business. To promote and maintain school attendance requires a committed partnership involving parent/carer’s, pupils, schools, the Local Authority and any other services such as GP’s, Health, and Police.
There is a wide range of support available, and the school can offer support to help remove any barriers to attendance, which can be wide and complex, both within and beyond the school gates.
If you would like support with your child's school attendance or punctuality, please make an appointment to meet with the School Administrator, Mrs Wojtas, in the first instance, by contacting the school office.